Hell Bent for Heaven

by  Hatcher Hughes

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  5m, 2f

NOTICE: Please be advised, this title is from the Samuel French Vault and is made from a scan of an archived manuscript. We hope you’ll treasure this glimpse into theatre history.

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Hell Bent for Heaven

by  Hatcher Hughes

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 2f
  • SubGenre


  • Accolades


    Pulitzer, From Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

When Sid Hunt returns from WWI, he announces his plans to marry his sweetheart, Jude Lowry, much to the displeasure of his brother Rufe, who is also in love with Jude. Jude's brother Andy has an old grudge against the family, and after some illicit drinking, he decides to murder Sid. Sid hears of this plot and crosses a dam to escape from Andy, but Rufe, hoping to get Jude for himself, blows up the dam. A religious fanatic, Rufe justifies this murder by claiming that God commanded it. Meanwhile, flood waters are rising from unprecedented rainfall, and when the family gets into their boat, Rufe finds that there is no room for him. He is told that if God commanded him to murder Sid, surely God will protect Rufe from the flood.
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  • Winner! 1924 Pulitzer Prize in Drama


Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Time Period: 1930s, 1920s
  • Setting: The Hunt home in the Carolina mountains. The action takes place between four o'clock in the afternoon and nine o'clock at night on midsummer day.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)


5m, 2f

DAVID HUNT - rugged, well-preserved man of eighty
MEG HUNT - his daughter-in-law, a strong and actrive woman of forty-odd years
SID HUNT - Meg and Matt's son, handsome and vigorous young fellow
RUFE PRYOR - thirty, medium height with a pale face and a shifty, uncertain manner
MATT HUNT - vigorous mountaineer of forty-five, married to Meg
ANDY LOWRY - a healthy young fellow
JUDE LOWRY - a handsome mountain girl

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Hatcher Hughes

Hatcher Hughes

HELL BENT FOR  HEAVEN was first presented on Friday, January 4, 1924. Directed by Augustin Duncan.

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